Progressive Rabbi Volunteers Synagogue Building as Newest Site for Amazon Locker

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Pensacola, FL — Since 2011, internet retailer, Amazon, has been offering off site lockers in select locations. The lockers provide an alternative to having packages delivered to your home. As package theft becomes more and more prevalent, the need for these lockers is becoming greater. While Amazon lockers are typically found in retail locations, one Rabbi in Pensacola is providing space for them in his Synagogue.

“Well, we had some empty space available in our building that wasn’t being used for anything,” Rabbi Eric Tokajer, of Brit Ahm Messianic Synagogue, explained to the Messianic Daily News. “I’m always looking for new ideas for our congregation that will catapult us into the next decade, like a men’s conference, an inter-congregational cruise, and a coffee shop called ‘Java Nagila’ that we run once a month. Having Amazon Locker in our space is a great way to get people in the door that wouldn’t otherwise be setting foot in our building. We have so many events going on during the week, it’s likely they’ll walk in to pick up their package while a Bible study, dance class, or Shabbat service is happening. The hope is that they’ll either stay for the event, or come back for a later one. It’s even better if they select our congregation on Amazon Smile; not only are their packages giving back to us financially, but we wind up with more members, because they walked in and stayed for Shabbat, when they wouldn’t normally have been here otherwise. I know it’s a real forward thinking idea. I like to consider myself pretty progressive, which is why we own our Synagogue building, instead of renting it.”

After hearing about Brit Ahm’s new idea to acquire more members from the general population, it is expected that Messianic Congregations across the county will follow suit in hosting Amazon Lockers. At press time, Brit Ahm estimates they have five new congregants from this experiment; one of which Jewish.

 

 

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Woman With Synesthesia Can Actually Taste That The Lord is Good

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Temecula, CA — Psalms 34:8 in the English Bible translations and Psalms 34:9 in the TLV and CJB says, “Taste and see that The Lord is good; oh the joys of those who take refuge in Him!” While this is meant to be a metaphor, for one woman Temecula, it’s literal. 39 year old, Ellen Glickman, of Kehilat Mashiach has been dealing with Lexical-Gustatory Synesthesia her entire life, in which different words are associated with certain tastes. Ellen says living with Synesthesia can be both a blessing and a curse.

“I once met a man on OkCupid and I had to cancel our first date, because his name tasted like cilantro,” Glickman explained to The Meow. “The upside to my Synesthesia, and a big part of the reason why I became a believer in the first place, is that all the names of The Lord taste like various flavors of ice cream to me. The deeper I get into worship, the more kinds of ice cream I experience. Who wouldn’t want to continually taste ice cream? I definitely do. I can personally vouch that The Lord tastes good. Sometimes He tastes like chocolate and sometimes He tastes like cookies and cream. Whether it’s ‘Lord,’ ‘Adonai,’ ‘God,’ or ‘HaShem,’ I really can’t go wrong. And on the days when I’m craving mint chocolate chip, He’s ‘El Shaddai’ to me. It’s so great to be able to praise The Lord and feel like I’m having my favorite dessert at the same time! I just wish everything tasted as good as The Lord does.”

For the rest of us that do not possess Lexical-Gustatory Synesthesia, we’ll just have to come up with other ways to continue striving to taste that The Lord is good. Until then, perhaps we can try eating something sweet while we worship. You can read more about Synesthesia here.

 

 

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New Synagogue’s Members All Weirdly Dogmatic About What Kind of Apples to Dip in Honey

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Rosh Hashanah may have come to a close, but Rabbi Joseph Weiner of Congregation Beth Messiah in Butte, MT will likely be dealing with the aftermath of the holiday well into the new year. Following the newly founded Messianic synagogue’s very first High Holy Day service, Rabbi Weiner’s office voicemail has been flooded with messages, all bearing a similar, and rather fruity, complaint.

“I thought our first High Holy Days would bring us closer together as a congregation,” says Rabbi Weiner. “Instead I’ve got dozens of complaints on my machine, and more coming in every hour. All I did was pick my favorite type of apple to dip in honey at the service. I’ve always loved Granny Smith apples, and I appreciate the way the tartness of the apple mixes with the sweetness of the honey. I never would have thought something like that could offend so many people.”

Listening to the voicemails, it’s hard not to be caught off guard by the vehemence of some of the complaints. “How dare you use Granny Smiths on Rosh Hashanah!” shouts one particularly upset woman, who sounds as if she was close to tears while leaving the message. “Dipping an apple with a gentile name like that is a slap in the face to our heritage. Unless you issue an apology and swear to use proper, Jewish apples like the Jonathan from now on, I don’t know that I can bring myself to come out again.”

According to the Rabbi, the suggestions of what apples to use in the future are the worst part. “Most of the calls include ideas for more ‘appropriate’ apples, and about half of the people seem to believe that their favorite varietal is the only ‘proper’ one to use. But there are dozens of types mentioned, and some of the opinions are directly contradictory. One person called the Red Delicious ‘God’s chosen apple,’ while another ruled out any red cultivars because ‘the apple Adam and Eve ate was red.’ Obviously that’s wrong on a whole host of levels, but is it really that much more wrong than any of these other ridiculous stances? And that’s not even factoring in the rare types [of apples]. One gentleman insisted that we should only use Northern Spy apples. I had to look that one up, and it turns out they grow mainly in upstate New York. How am I supposed to get those in Montana?”

Nevertheless, the Rabbi has hopes that the rest of the High Holy Days will be a success. “I’m telling you one thing, though,” he adds. “I’m placing a ban on all mentions of food during Yom Kippur prayers. We need a time of somber repentance and reflection, not a bunch of prayers for me to be forgiven for my ‘sinful’ choice of apples. And I’ve learned from my mistake; next year, our Rosh Hashanah service will be strictly B.Y.O.A.”

At press time, the Rabbi had just received a call also complaining about the type of honey used.

 

 

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Words that Rhyme with “Elul” For Your Song Writing Pleasure

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With the month of Elul more than half way through, we think it’s time to start a new tradition of writing songs dedicated to the Hebrew month of preparation for the upcoming High Holidays. Below we have provided a list of words that rhyme with Elul, to help you get started on your new song! We recommend choosing 3-4 words and writing around them. We have taken the liberty to bold the words we will be using in our own song, so you can see where we’re going with ours, and hope it will inspire you in yours. Please feel free to share your songs with us 🙂

 

 

Cool

Cruel

Drool

Duel

Fongool

Fool

Fuel

Ghoul

Grool

Gruel

Huel

Jeff Gillool-y

Jewel

Joule

Jule

Juul

Minuscule

Mule

Patchoul-i

Pool

Rule

School

Shul

Stool

Svengool-ie

Tool

Tulle

Yule

Zul

 

 

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Sold Out Congregational Seder Not Attended By Any Congregation Members

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Montpelier, VT – Last night, Congregation Beth Messiah of Montpelier, Vermont, held its biggest event of the year: their congregational Passover Seder. After months of hype, announcements in every service and over a thousand mailers sent throughout the city, the event was sold out, and every seat was filled. However, as Rabbi Jacob Felberbaum and his elders proceeded through the Seder, they began to notice something peculiar.

“I looked out into the crowd, and there were absolutely no familiar faces,” said Assistant Rabbi Mark Weissman. “Then I wandered a bit during the meal, and when not a single Bubbe grabbed me to talk my ear off about her thoughts on the morning’s service I knew something was wrong. So after the Seder, I went back and checked through the ticket sales records, and it was just as I’d suspected – not a single member had bought a ticket.”

“It’s a bit of a shock,” said Rabbi Felberbaum upon hearing the news. “Sure, we’ve had somewhat low turnout among members for the past decade or so, with most of the seats these days going to church groups and Hebrew Roots folks looking for a taste of the ‘Jewish experience.’ Still, we’ve always had at least a few members – newer folks in particular, plus a few old stalwarts bringing out friends or relatives. I’m not sure what changed this year.”

Rank and file members of the congregation, however, were significantly less surprised by the revelation. “I don’t know why anyone in the synagogue would go to that thing,” said Becca Meltzer. “It’s $35 a pop, catered by goyim who couldn’t make a decent matzah ball soup if their life depended on it, and it’s on a random night that has no significance, whatsoever. Besides, I was already invited to two other home Seders this week, and my attention span can only sit through so much; why would I pick the one that costs money?”

“I attended the Seder once when I first joined, but I’ll never make that mistake again,” said Josh Wingert, echoing Becca’s sentiments. “They take even longer to get to the meal than my parents, and my Dad spends like an hour on the Passover story alone. But the last straw for me was the charoset, which until that night had always been the highlight of the Seder for me. I don’t know what they were thinking; the stuff is supposed to remind you of mortar, but what they put in front of me looked more like dry trail mix.”

A further survey of members also revealed that, even if they’d been interested in attending the Congregational Seder, most had already committed to one of the five other Seders held that night by Beth Messiah members. The largest of these was held by the Rabbi’s own mother, who hosted just over two dozen people in her spacious dining room.

“Of course I went to Mama Sarah’s Seder,” said Sam Finkel. “I wouldn’t have gone to the Synagogue one anyway, but anyone who’d even consider turning down an invitation to her Seder has either never eaten her cooking, or he’s gone completely meshuggah.”

At press time, Rabbi Felberbaum had not responded to The Meow’s inquiries as to whether he’d been invited to his mother’s Seder.

 

 

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We Asked, You Answered: Messianic Judaism’s Favorite Hamantaschen Flavors

In conjunction with Dr. David Matzah of the Messianic Behavior Research Institute in Pennsylvania, The Messianic Meow sent out a survey to Messianic Congregations across the country asking for congregants’ favorite hamantaschen flavors. Now that all the Purim celebrations have concluded, we can share our findings with the public.

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“I can’t get enough of that Gefilte Fish hamantaschen. Sadly, there’s only one bakery, about an hour away, that carries it. Not as good as Bubbe used to make, but I’ll takes what I can gets.” – Morty Greenstock, Temple Aron HaKodesh, Lauderdale Lakes, FL

“Raspberry, blackberry, boysenberry, snozzberry. I’ll take any kind of berry. Except Barry Manilow. Just kidding, Barry; I love you so much!” – Rivkah Silverstein, City of David Messianic Synagogue, Thornhill, ON, CA

“The worst thing is when you think you are about to eat a delicious prune hamantaschen and you take a bite and it’s CHOCOLATE! Who the heck wants to eat a chocolate hamantaschen? Feh!” – Leah Goldenfarb, Devar Emet Messianic Synagogue, Skokie, IL

“I don’t care so much about the filling, as long as it’s non GMO, gluten free, organic, certified Kosher, dairy free, Whole 30, and has added Omega 3s in it.” – Shirley Liebowitz, Beth Emunah Messianic Synagogue, Agoura Hills, CA

“If you’ve never had poppyseed hamantaschen, then you probably care too much about how the darn thing tastes. Look, it’s not about the flavor, it’s about tradition. If you ask me, poppyseed hamantaschen is the only true hamantaschen. It’s in The Bible or something.” – Milton Friedstein, Shuvah Yisrael Messianic Synagogue, Plainview, NY.

“I’ve never met a hamantaschen I didn’t like, but if I had to choose, I’d say it doesn’t really matter, as long as I can dunk it in my cold press coffee.” – Harry Sapperstein, Beit Tikvah Messianic Congregation, Newcastle, WA

“Have you ever had a Nutella hamantaschen? Me neither, but I’d like to try one.” – Rachel Wellman, Tikvat Israel Messianic Synagogue, Richmond, VA

“I only bake my own hamantaschen. I do what any proper Southern Belle would do; I take a bushel of peaches and I marinate them in Coca Cola overnight, and then I soak them in sweet tea. Goes great with a side of sugar.” – Nancy Mendels, Beth Yeshua International, Macon, GA

“I really hope next year they move this holiday a lot further away from Girl Scout Cookie season; I’m trying to watch my figure.” – Debbie Lowman, Son of David Congregation, Silver Spring, MD

“Give me all the flavors. All of them. Every single one.” – Marvin Pinsky, Beth Messiah Congregation, Columbus, OH

 

 

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Alternative Uses of Tallises for the Disrespectful

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Are you tired of wearing your tallit as a prayer shawl? Feel like you spent too much money on something that has only one use? Not to worry! We, at The Messianic Meow, have compiled a list of ways to disrespectfully get multiple uses out of your favorite holy garment! Mix and match as you please!

 

•Use it as a tablecloth

•Wear it as a scarf

•Use it as swaddling clothes for your newborn

•Wave it like a flag during worship

•Wear it as a turban

•Use it as a sarong at the beach

•Use it as a dish towel

•Use it as a blindfold during games at your child’s birthday party

•Cut into pieces to be used as napkins and placemats at fancy dinner parties

•Hang the fringes in your doorway for people to walk through

•Use it as a smock when you paint (bonus tip: you can paint the tallit itself to make it more decorative!)

•Use it as a bathmat

•Replace your sheets with it

•Use it to cover your couch to keep pet hair from getting all over it

•Cooking pasta sauce? Use it as an apron to prevent your clothes from getting stained!

•Use it to fan out the flames on your Havdalah candle when you run out of grape juice

•Have a side gig as a matador? Use it to taunt the bulls!

•Use it as a tourniquet to prevent someone from bleeding out

•Two words: cloth diaper

•Use it to replace the torn sails on your boat

•Use it in lieu of curtains in your living room, then later take them down to be made into play clothes for your children to frolic in the Austrian countryside

 

 

And don’t worry if you’ve actually done any of these things; Yom Kippur will be here before you know it!

 

 

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